If you have been following my posts, you may have noticed that I frequently interchange the word “retirement” with a “Life ReLaunched”. I have written this article to explain why that is. Let’s begin with the word “retirement.
What is Retirement Anyway?
According to Google, “Retirement refers to the time of life when one chooses to permanently leave the workforce behind. The traditional retirement age is 65 in the United States and most other developed countries, many of which have some kind of national pension or benefits system in place to supplement retirees' incomes”
What is traditional retirement? According to Merriam Webster retirement is:
b) withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from active working life
c) the age at which one normally retires reaches retirement, a place of seclusion or privacy
Webster’s synonyms for retirement are pullback, pullout, recession, retreat and withdrawal. Interestingly, the antonyms are advance, advancement.
Perhaps, once upon a time years ago, pulling back, retreating or withdrawing effectively described what happens when people leave the workforce. Is this how you envision the stage that follows your career? Do you plan on receding? Have you stopped growing emotionally or spiritually? I don’t know about you, but this certainly does not reflect what I have been reading and experiencing. This also does not resemble the lives of those I know who are experiencing this new phase in their lives, many of whom who are fully engaged in activities including employment that feed their passions.
The Case for A Life ReLaunched
Instead of considering retirement as a stage in which you withdraw or recede from a career or the workforce, I propose a forward leaning perspective to this next stage. Do you remember how you felt when you changed jobs, companies or even careers? I know that when I made these changes, I felt a combination of excitement and uncertainty. Excitement for new opportunity and new learning along with uncertainty of what would come next. In what way is this different from the decision to move forward from your career into your next phase?
What do you think of when you hear the word “launch”? I tend to think of a rocket ship taking off into space to explore worlds not known to us. What if we considered our post-career life to be just like that? As if we are on board the Starship Enterprise only instead of exploring worlds unknown, we are exploring who we are, new opportunities that speak to our hearts, meeting new people, growing personally and spiritually, deepening our relationship with our family and friends.
This is a time when you get to define and design what this looks like. This could be equally scary and exciting just like changing careers or moving forward in a career. What I find quite odd is the antonyms of retirement described as advance and advancement. Really? Unlike Webster, I envision this next phase as one of great advancement toward a well-rounded lifestyle that embodies our true selves through emotional and spiritual growth that comes from following our passions. In other words, we arrive at a time when we can move from our career lives into new directions and better suit us. I contend that the antonyms of “retirement” are truly what your post-career time should be. This is what a Life ReLaunched is all about.
Does this appeal to you? If so, you are not going into retirement. You are about to embark upon the greatest adventure of your life. One that you define and design. One that is unique to you, your needs, and the lifestyle that fulfills you. Are you ready? Then get set and ReLaunch!
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